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Ep. 80 Memory As The Precious Gift of Meaning: A 90 min Level 2-3 Yoga Class

30 May
Mom and Dad love the baby

Remembering our little gift 🙂

I don’t think that I can truly convey how moved I was when I heard Dr. Dienstag relay his experiences leading a creative writing course for people who had been diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s. What gripped my heart was the importance of the patients physically writing down memories and as they left the class, gifting the physical memories to the teacher, as the majority of those folks would forget those memories the next time that they came to class.

That absolutely hit me.

They entrusted their memories. They gave them away, never to have them back.

Remember and Celebrate

I had never viewed memory as something alive and tangible. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve ever thought about memories as ‘gifts.’ As I thought about this concept I realized that when I remember something from my childhood or come across a scent I hadn’t smelled in a long time, or find an article of clothing I haven’t worn in a long time, it is like receiving a gift. Those memories are gifts I get to open every time I encounter them. They always serve to remind me of what I give value to in my life.

One answer that emerged from the Lifelines group is that we should surround people who are forgetting with acts of remembering. People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease are in danger of forgetting that they can still remember, as are those of us who work with people with Alzheimer’s. – Dr. Dienstag

Something affected me about this sentence. Yes, it is about folks that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but did you catch the last little bit of that quote:

as are those of us that work with people with Alzheimer’s.

To me that means everyone.

Then it becomes about something completely different.

How about you? Are you in danger of forgetting that you can still remember? Are you surrounding yourself with acts of remembering?

This episode’s online yoga class is a Level 2-3 class.

The yoga class is a journey of imprinting your mat with those memories. Writing your desires, your deepest wishes, your meaningful longings with your body, NOW. May we acknowledge and gift them NOW, as the blessing of memory is just that, a blessing.

The class itself is more energetically paced than usual. The first half of the class involves lots of standing poses and vinyasas. It is also accompanied by yours truly chatting up a storm (imagine that!) 😉  I was deeply inspired by the subject matter. My energy grounds as the class goes on, as the quiet grows.

Something else to note about the class: I ran out of batteries for my H2 Zoom recorder during savasana, so you will have to bring yourself out of the pose on your own! 😀

Dr. Dienstag’s article is a fantastic read . If you are interested in listening to the entire interview with Dr Dienstag you may check it out here.

This class was recorded at BYS Yoga Studio in Pittsburgh on May 13, 2010

Remember to listen to the podcast to get the 15% off coupon code for Prancing Leopard Organics my magical sponsors 😉 and go shopping!

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The Sequence of Yoga Poses for this online yoga class:

Downward Facing Dog/Eka Pada Downward Facing Dog/ Spiderman Lunge

downward facing dogone legged downward facing dog with hips squaredstraight legged lunge

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Uttanasana/Ardha Uttanasana

uttanasanaardha uttanasana

Surya Namaskar C Variation (without vinyasa)

urdhva hastasana transition into uttanasana uttanasana ardha uttanasanaLunge with bent leg downward facing dogLunge with bent leg uttanasana ardha uttanasanatransition into uttanasanaurdhva hastasanatadasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Vinyasa

plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Parsvakonasana/Virabhidrasana II

Parvakonasana with forearm on thighparsvakonasana prepParsvakonasanawarrior II

AMS

Plank

Chattarunga (hold)

chattarunga dandasana

Bhujangasana

cobra

Side Angle Pose/Warrior II

Parvakonasana with forearm on thighparsvakonasana prepParsvakonasanawarrior II

Vinyasa

plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Trikonasana/Triangle with side angle arm

trikonasana

Uttanasana

Utkatasana

Uttanasana

Vinyasana

plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Virabhidrasana I (with arms interlaced behind the head)

AMS

Warrior I (with arms interlaced behind the head)

Vkrsasana

Garundasana

Eagle arms in Tadasana/Uttanasana with Garundasana arms

Baby Dancer

Uttanasana

Pigeon

Pigeon Prep

Ekapadarajakapotasana prep with thigh stretch

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana with a thigh stretch

Downward Facing Dog on tip toes/Plank on tip toes/Upward Facing Dog/Downward Facing Dog

chattarunga dandasana on tops of the feet

Uttanasana vinyasa to Tadasana

Urdhva Dhanurasana with or without blocks at the wall x 3

urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-stage-1-medium.JPG urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-misaligned-stage-1-medium.JPG urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-stage-2-medium.JPG urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-misaligned-stage-3-medium.JPG urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-stage-3-medium.JPG urdhva-dhanurasana-with-blocks-stage-4-medium.JPG

Knees to Chest

apanasana

Supine Twist

Balasana

Downward Facing Dog

Uttanasana

Tadasana

Savasana

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Ep. 79 Nourish the Culture of Your Body: A 90 min Level 2-3 Yoga Class

17 May

Copyright 2007 Alan D. Coogan, All Rights Reserved

It’s when we are about to loose something that we hold dear that we choose to step in fully to do something about it. Why is that? Why must we wait until the situation is dire before choosing to fully engage in our lives, our relationships, our environment, our bodies, our hearts, etc?

Move back into the culture of your body, cultivate it and grow it.

This was the theme of this week’s episode. Inspired by a conversation from one of my favorite podcasts Speaking of Faith . It was regarding manuscripts and the “monastic library that rescues manuscripts from across the centuries and across the world. And there are worlds in this place — on palm leaf and papyrus, in microfilm and pixels — stories of ordinary life as well as the rise and fall of civilizations….In their lives as in this work, the relevance of ancient manuscripts to people of the present and the cultural cargo of the past itself are revealed in a new light.” – Krista Tippet

I don’t have a particular affinity for manuscripts themselves, in fact I haven’t ever really thought about them, but after listening to this episode they were revealed to me as yet another expression of the sacred in the every day, and how there are so many many treasures that often times we overlook within our every day lives

.

The treasure that I speak about in class specifically is the treasure of our bodies, and the way that we loose sight of the beauty of it’s culture until it begins to unravel.

Step into the challenge of Truth and get Healthy

Keeping on this same topic, I am launching an in depth 3 part eCourse. I’ve had requests from the online yoga community, from my Pittsburgh yoga community AND from my own desire to create this. It employs empowering simple practices that you can incorporate toward your optimal health and wellness.

Everything You Need You Already Have
Learn How to Recognize, Cultivate and Sustain a Healthful Lifestyle: A Three Part Heart eMmersion

The first stage is all about turning inward and BREATHING! I’d loooove to have you join in. Space is VERY limited. I am only accepting 3-5 participants each time that I offer the program in order to make sure that I can truly serve you and your commitment. Learn all about it by clicking on the following link! It begins June 6th and goes until July 3rd.

Stage 1: Start By Breathing

Gifts for Elsie’s Yoga Class Podcast listeners!

Two awesome little presents for my online kula members!

One of them is a special coupon code from my newest show sponsor Prancing Leopard Organics. I’m THRILLED that they are giving this to you guys! The coupon code is mentioned on the podcast as I really want to honor those of you that have been my loyal students so listen up 🙂 So awesome!

The second is a FREE DOWNLOAD from the magnificent Donna De Lory. I am so honored that I get a chance to share the track Sanctuary with you guys from her latest album of the same name 🙂 Just click on the link below and snag away 😀

DOWNLOAD Sanctuary

It’s a beautiful track. I’m sure that you will enjoy it 🙂 If you are interested in more you are more than welcome to sign up for Donna’s mailing list HERE

Please feel free to join the community over at the Elsie’s Yoga Kula FB Page 🙂 plus, remember that I have a fancy pants yoga iPhone/iPod Touch Podcast app that rocks! If you buy the app you won’t even have to download the Sanctuary MP3 as you can simply download it straight from the app itself, plus, get the Prancing Leopard coupon code right away. How fun is that? It’s only $3.99 and it absolutely supports my endeavors to serve you more fully 😀

This week’s online yoga class is a Level 2-3 Class!!!

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Wow! Long time coming no? Yes, finally a more advanced yoga class 🙂 I’ve finally grown my Pittsburgh Yoga Anusara community enough with the basics that I can now start to play a little more 😉 I hope you enjoy the class and the sequence!

This class was originally recorded at Yoga Matrika in Point Breeze on Monday evening May 10, 2010

The yoga posture sequence

Downward Facing Dog

Straight legged Lunge into Straight Leg

straight legged lungeparsvottanasana variation

Plank hold (bending elbows one inch)

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Uttanasana/Ardha Uttanasana x 3

uttanasanaardha uttanasana

Tadasana

Surya Namaskar A (Slow)

tadasanaurdhva hastasanauttanasana ardha uttanasana plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing doguttanasana ardha uttanasanaurdhva hastasanatadasana

Sun Salutation A x 7 (Fast)

tadasanaurdhva hastasanauttanasana ardha uttanasana plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing doguttanasana ardha uttanasanaurdhva hastasanatadasana

Tadasana

Utkatasana

Crescent Pose/Crescent Pose Twist

Pavrita Parsvakonasana

Chattarunga Dandasana

chattarunga dandasana

Salabasana with arms interlaced behind the back

Crescent Pose/ Pavrita Parsvakonasana

Pavrita Parsvakonasana

Vinyasa

plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Vashistasana

vashistasana prepvashistasana

Swaying Tree/Warrior III/Pavrita Ardha Chandrasana

Uttanasana

Downward Facing Dog

Vrksasana in Vashistasana I variation

side plank yoga pose variation with tree pose

Vrksasana in Plank

Plank pose in yoga with Tree pose legs

Vrksasana in Chattarunga

Vrksasana in Cobra

Cobra pose variation with Tree pose legs in yoga

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Child’s Pose

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Prep 1

Pigeon Prep

Pigeon with Thigh Stretch

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana with a thigh stretch

Downward Facing Dog

Uttanasana/Ardha Uttanasana

uttanasanaardha uttanasana

Urdhva Dhanurasana x 2

urdhva dhanurasana

Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana

Balasana

Hanumanasana

hanumanasana

Agni Stambasana

Agni Stambasana

Easy Supine Twist

78: The Embodied Elements, A practice in Studentship (Adhikara) A Level 1.5 75 min Yoga Class

2 Apr

Earth Wind Water by Artist Christopher Beikmann

I felt this beautiful piece of art depicted perfectly the theme for this episode’s class. The piece is by Artist Christopher Beikmann. The art is available as a giclee on hand stretched canvas 48″w x 24″H a limited edition of 5 . You find out more about Chris and his artwork (and SHOP!) at www.AncientArtiZen.com.

Yoga Lesson: How do we tune into nature and allow it to deepen our life?

Every day I am brought to back to the application of yoga lessons in my life. Yoga or life as I choose to see it now, becomes a pulsating beneficent opportunity, a gift really, for me to become a better human being. This past week I was given the task of preparing one of my current students to step into an Anusara Immersion with my beloved teachers that has already started. She missed the first weekend, or half of Part 1. My job is to catch her up *gulp*.

Out have come all of my notes and of course the Immersion Lesson plans and the like.

Succinctly explaining the Anusara Philosophy, the 3 As and the UPAs (Universal Principles of Alignment ™) is not the easiest thing when you have crazy time constraints. Arghhh!!!…goodness gracious!

So given that, studentship has been on my mind. I am stepping into the seat of the student as I pour over how to convey all this knowledge in a way that will be optimally soaked in by her. I adore the way that I heard John explain studentship using the Elements. I remember how he shared that using the elements as teaching tools is wonderful because they are understood and experienced by all, so we have a common ground from which to step into the teachings and also deepen the understanding of the UPAs within the yoga postures. Since I’d been meditating on this theme, lo and behold, I taught all about it!

This episode’s online yoga class is a Level 1.5 class (in other words strong).

It’s slow, meditative and we take time to get into things. I hope you enjoy stepping into it!

By the way, let me know which elements you resonate with the most 😀

In my intro I told you that I recorded 2 other classes that I was unable to use for the podcast, but I’m making them available to you, if you would like to download them. Both of them are level 2 yoga classes. One of them is a full 80 minute class with less than optimal audio, and the other one was a TOTALLY awesome class, but I ran out of batteries half way through the class! Ugh!

EXTRA Level 2 80 min Class with the theme of Dreaming and Community

EXTRA Level 2 Unfinished Class with the them of “Let Your Smallness Dissolve” and the Pareto Principle

I want yoga gear reviews from you!

If you have any yoga gear, or yoga clothing, or any yoga related accesory that you would like to review either because you LOVE it, or HATE it, or perhaps are simply indifferent. Let me know! Fill out this online yoga product submission form 🙂 I would love to have you be part of the online yoga community 😀


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The series of Yoga Poses for this online yoga class:

Adho Mukha Svanasana

High Lunge/Straightening front leg/lunge twist

straight legged lungeparsvottanasana variationlunge twist backbend 2lunge twist backbend

Uttanasana

Uttanasana/Ardha uttanasana x 3

uttanasanaardha uttanasana

hands on hips, shoulders up rise up

Parsvatasana arms

Tadasana With Arms Interlaced Above the Head

Half sun salute

plank

cobra

cobra

Down Dog

Surya Namaskar with salabasana arms interlaced behind the back, instead of Cobra

chattarunga dandasana

Downward Facing Dog

Parsvakonasana

Parvakonasana with forearm on thighparsvakonasana prepParsvakonasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Plank Chattarunga x 2

Vira II

warrior II

Vinyasa

plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Uttanasana wide legs arms interlaced behind the back

Trikonasana

trikonasana

Uttanasana/Artha Uttanasana

uttanasanaardha uttanasana

Utkatasana with a twist

Pigeon with a twist

Parsva Bakasana

Parsva Bakasana

Twitsting Pigeon with thigh stretch

Setubandha

setubandha stage 1setubandha robot armssetubandha

Eka Pada Setubandha

Eka Pada Setu Bandha

Supta Padangustasana

Supine Twist

Savasana

Episode 77: Build Your Infrastructure and Love Freely, A Level 2 75 min Yoga Class

18 Feb

Upon learning about and delving into the earthquake in Haiti, and specifically the lack of infrastructure within the area where the earthquake hit, and the lack of foundation to receive help, it forced me to look at what was going on in my ‘home’, my heart, my surroundings so that I could help create clarity HERE and NOW.

Why HERE and NOW?

I donated money. In fact, how could you not? It was made so easy to give, so very easy to give. You saw how fast the human heart can open up and offer. You all experienced a sense of unity did you not? It’s amazing how open our hearts are. I have so much faith in the human race and our ability to open our hearts. I have no doubt.

Now, our ability to keep the hearts open and sensitive, to work daily to make choices that will optimize our well being and that of those around us is a different story. I can speak from personal experience as I say that I’m lazy when it comes to that stuff. I often times choose to ‘fix’ what’s broken in the house later. It’s too much of a pain now. I’ll eat healthier later. This pound of ice-cream isn’t gonna hurt me now. I’ll discipline and engage with my daughter later, she’s only 16 months old, there’s plenty of time….and on and on and on. That later, turns into years (or at minimum months). Those every day things are the infrastructure:

An underlying base or foundation especially for an organization or system.

The basic facilities, services, and installations needed for the functioning of a community or society, such as transportation and communications systems, water and power lines, and public institutions including schools, post offices, and prisons.

If we don’t tend to that, regardless of how open our hearts are, how willing we are to give, how much we want to work, the delivery of that love, support, resources will not get there easily. At least that’s how I see it. The foundation will not be set when push comes to shove. Infrastructure is not exotic, it’s not exciting, it’s very grounded, methodical, and I guess you could say boring? Our job as yogis is to make these every day choices, these mundane often boring and at times, may I say annoying tasks sacred, valuable and full of meaning. It is in those every day ways that we build our foundation, our underlying system within our household, within our relationships, within our BODIES that we create the optimal way for us to share that wealth of heart and spirit with which we are all blessed.

Build the infrastructure and Clear the path to Love

The more that we cultivate our infrastructure, the more that we will be able to share and love each other, support each other in a myriad of ways. We will be ever more effective and clear and raise ourselves and each other to a higher level of consciousness.

So, scroll below to do the yoga class (and check out the corresponding sequence) with this theme, so that you can infuse and strengthen your infrastructure in order to serve more fully!

Some links mentioned in the intro:

Love the Feedback!

  • email me- eyogaclass (at) gmail (dot) com
  • leave me a message- 310 651 6238 (I’d love to play you guys on the episodes! Plus you can promote your stuff that way!)
  • or comment on this blog!

Other ways to connect with me:

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This week’s class is a variation of the theme that I touched on above. It’s a Level 2 Yoga Class and it was recorded on January 18th 2010 at Yoga Matrika 🙂

The Yoga Asana Sequence

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana

one legged downward facing dog with hips squared

SpiderMan Deep Lunge

Plank

Chattarunga

chattarunga dandasana

Salabasana with arms interlaced behind the back/Cobra

Downward Facing Dog

Uttanasana/Ardha Uttanasana x 3

uttanasanaardha uttanasana

Urdhva Hastasana

Surya Namaskar C

urdhva hastasana transition into uttanasana uttanasana ardha uttanasanaLunge with bent leg plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dogLunge with bent leg uttanasana ardha uttanasanatransition into uttanasanaurdhva hastasanatadasana

Urdhva Hastasana variation with thumbs interlaced

Utkatasana variation with thumbs interlaced

Uttanasana/Ardha Uttanasana

uttanasanaardha uttanasana

Vinyasa

plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Vira II/Reverse Vira

warrior IIreverse warrior

Push up Vinyasa

chattarunga dandasana

Parsvakonasana

Parvakonasana with forearm on thighparsvakonasana prepParsvakonasana

Trikonasana/Trikonasana with arm over ear

trikonasana

Downward Facing Dog with knees bent into straight

dd_bent_legs

Uttanasana

Hands on hips shoulders up to Tadasana

Standing Hip Stretch x2

Standing Hip Stretch Front (shrub)Standing Hip Stretch (shrub)

Standing Baby Craddle

Garundasana

Malasana

Malasana

Uttanasana

Deep Lunge

Deep Lunge with back knee on the floor deep lunge with forearms on the floor

Ardha Bhekasana

Eka Pada Pavrita Adho Mukha Svanasana (One Legged Twisting Dowward Facing Dog)

Dhanurasana x3

Child’s Pose

Supta Padangusatasana

Knees to Chest

apanasana